Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Hen Gaer Hilltop Enclosure

A Scheduled Monument in Trefeurig, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.4404 / 52°26'25"N

Longitude: -4.0127 / 4°0'45"W

OS Eastings: 263286

OS Northings: 284393

OS Grid: SN632843

Mapcode National: GBR 8V.MBNP

Mapcode Global: VH4F6.DXHL

Entry Name: Hen Gaer Hilltop Enclosure

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1834

Cadw Legacy ID: CD026

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Trefeurig

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the well preserved remains of a hillfort, consisting of single bank and ditch, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). Hillforts are usually located on hilltops and surrounded by a single or multiple earthworks of massive proportions. Hillforts must have formed symbols of power within the landscape, while their function may have had as much to do with ostentation and display as defence. Hen Gaer occupies the highest point of a rounded hill at 120m above sea level. It is strongly defended by a single bank and ditch up to 12m wide and 3m-4m high overall. The original entrance on the west side is a simple gap but with a large mound outside which may have formed part of the entrance defences. There are more recent gaps at the north and south. The interior is oval, measuring c.140m by 75m, with traces of later ridge and furrow cultivation visible on aerial photographs; an old field bank runs from north to south a short distance inside the western bank. Earlier sources reported the presence of two hut circles but these are no longer readily apparent. The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric defensive organisation and settlement. The site forms an important element within the wider later prehistoric context and within the surrounding landscape. The site is well preserved and retains considerable archaeological potential. There is a strong probability of the presence of evidence relating to chronology, building techniques and functional detail.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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